I am not a leader.
I don’t give direction. I don’t know the answer.
I am not in charge.
I won’t be your hero.
I am one in the crowd, unnoticed and indistinguishable.
I’m intelligent, alert, thoughtful and passive.
I know when to take notice and when to disregard.
But I am not a leader and I’ll wait for you to speak first.
I’m quiet and shy. I’m an introvert. I am “nice.”
I will work with you and for you. I will join the team.
Creating debate is your job, so I will aim to just get along.
I am not a leader and it’s not necessary for me to be one.
I remain on the sidelines where I am most valuable, waiting and watching.
To lead is to be ahead of the rest, giving direction and guidance.
I am the one who will be the following in the cult of brilliant ideas.
I will let the real leaders guide the world in one good direction or another.
I am not a leader, so my good ideas will be spoken in anonymous whispers.
Please, speak for me. You do it so much more eloquently than I could.
You see, the choices are still mine even when I’m not presenting the choices.
I am not a leader and I won’t be an imposter drowning in a lake of loud voices.
I am quiet and I am content.
The world needs me, too.
At a time when we are inundated with messages about being great leaders, finding a path can be especially daunting for those of us who are just not cut out for the job. Followers, rejoice! There’s a place for you too.
Bonus: Derek Sivers provides an illuminating example of why followers (especially that first one) are as important, or more important, than leaders. What is a leader without anyone to follow?
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Ed: B. Bemel